Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sharing on the readings of Tue 19th Jul 2011

Yesterday evening, my sister and I went to NTUC to get some groceries for the family. The realisation dawned on me of how things have changed. In the past, it was our parents who bought all the household necessities. We just told them what we needed. Now having grown up, we realise our part in the family and chip in to look after the family's needs. The role of a child in the family is not one who just gets looked after, but as he grows older, he realises that he contributes and is involved in the matters of the family.

And that is what Jesus is reminding us today in the Gospel (Mt 12:46-50). There is a link between our identity (who we are) and our actions (what we do). In the passage Jesus says

whoever does the will of my heavenly Father IS my brother, and sister, and mother
He doesn't say that who ever does the will of the Father "WILL BECOME", insteads he say "IS" my brother, sister and mother.

Though it might seem like a play of words, but there is a difference between the two. One who "is" Jesus' brother, sister or mother knows that he is a child of God and that he belongs in God's family. And because he belongs to the family, he will do the will of the Father. But one who "will become" Jesus' brother, sister or mother, sees himself as outside of the family, and hopes to become a family member by doing the will of the Father.

In the past, I belonged to the second category. I saw God as someone I needed to obey, who will judge me and so I needed to be good to gain His love, to enter heaven. But as I journeyed and grew in my faith, I realised my identity as truly a child of God. I didn't need to work to gain His trust and His love, but I was already immensely loved by Him. And as a child of God, I wanted to do His will. Like Jesus said to his earthly parents when they found him in the temple:
Did you not know that I must be about my Father's work? - Lk 2:49
The question we need to ask ourselves is: Am I doing my Father's will in my life today?

If we are not, could it be that we have failed to realise that we are children of God? Or am I still a young child in the faith, not fully realising my responsibilities as a member of God's family.

The other problem could be forgetfulness. Not that we do not know that we are children of God, but that we get so distracted, or we believe the lies of the tempter that we forget who we are.

Let us pray that we might truly realise our identity as children of God, as brothers and sister of our Lord Jesus Christ. And pray for the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen us to know and do the will of our Father.

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